Five 2015 Defensive Recruits with Most to Prove This Summer
As the summer arrives, many recruits will be busy at various camps and seven-on-seven events over the next few months. Looking at the 2015 class, a few defensive prospects will be looking to shake some slight knocks on their skill sets.
A 5-star defensive end must prove he is strong enough not to be considered a one-trick pony, while a 4-star cornerback has to show he is more than just an explosive athlete.
Also, a mysterious 4-star defensive lineman needs to prove he doesn't just dominate weak competition.
Cameron Smith, LB
Cameron Smith is a rugged 4-star linebacker from California who is strong against the run. At 6'3" and 225 pounds, he reads his keys and fills holes quickly at the line of scrimmage.
However, questions remain on how he holds up in coverage. He has enough awareness and athleticism to be adequate in zone schemes but needs to consistently show it this summer.
If not, then he may be on his way to becoming just a two-down linebacker at USC.
Neville Gallimore, DL
There is a little mystery surrounding 4-star defensive lineman Neville Gallimore from Canada. He spends most of his time on the edges right now, but he looks like a future defensive tackle.
At 6'3" and 300 pounds, he has a good combination of first-step quickness and strength. However, he needs to get to a few camps this summer and show he can win battles consistently with his hand down like a traditional defensive tackle.
Michigan State, Ohio State and Oklahoma are his top schools, per 247Sports.
Osa Masina, OLB/ATH
Osa Masina is a 4-star prospect who can play several different positions for a football team. However, it appears he will start his college career at linebacker.
The Utah native is 6'4" and 230 pounds, plus he is fast in a straight line. Masina needs to prove this summer that he has the ability to use his hands actively as a pass-rusher, plus demonstrate that he is comfortable buzzing into coverage and transitioning in space.
Look for him to stay close to home and sign with Utah.
Nobody disputes the explosiveness, quickness, agility or speed of Eric Glover-Williams. He is one of the best pure athletes in the 2015 class.
However, the Ohio native appears to be more of an athlete than a cover corner at this stage. In fact, he may be a better prospect as a receiver/running back hybrid.
This summer, he needs to prove that he has the cover skills, awareness, anticipation and feel for routes to effectively play cornerback. If he doesn't, Ohio State may be better off using the 5'11", 165-pounder on offense.
Keisean Lucier-South, DE
From California, Keisean Lucier-South is a fantastic pass-rusher who gets the job done with speed and explosiveness.
The 6'5", 225-pounder routinely jumps on top of offensive tackles with a quick first step, plus he can bend well. However, more will be needed by the 5-star prospect to have success in college. He has to show this summer that he has the strength to execute a power move or two versus top-tier offensive linemen.
If not, then he may indeed just be a one-trick pony as a speed-rusher. Schools such as UCLA, Notre Dame and Michigan are in the hunt, per 247Sports.
Lucier-South told the following to Chris Swanson of USCFootball.com (subscription required) on May 29: "Honestly, UCLA is my favorite school. I've been talking to them and seeing them a lot lately. They're really looking at me a lot."
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.